Manchester United fitness coach Tony Strudwick has been relieved of his first-team duties and replaced by Louis van Gaal’s long-serving fitness guru Jos van Dijk, it has emerged.
While no official confirmation has been made by the club, the Daily Mail have had it confirmed by sources at Old Trafford that Strudwick has been told to focus on working with Manchester United’s youth players.
Van Dijk will condition United's first-team stars
The Red Devils’ elite stars will now be monitored and conditioned by Van Dijk, who was part of Van Gaal’s coaching staff with the Netherlands national team at this summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil.
Strudwick, who travelled to the United States and worked with United’s first-team stars in pre-season, will now focus exclusively on the club’s young stars except for some warm-up drills and strength work exercises.
The 42-year-old, who was brought to Old Trafford by Sir Alex Ferguson from Blackburn Rovers in 2007, will no longer have any involvement in designing and planning first-team training sessions.
Reasons behind the reshuffle
The report claims that Van Gaal’s decision to replace Strudwick is not a reflection of his work. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss simply wishes to work with his trusted aide Van Dijk.
But it could be a risk by Van Gaal because Strudwick is a well-respected member of Manchester United’s coaching staff, and someone liked and trusted by the Red Devils’ senior players.
It’s unclear whether the recent speight of injuries may have contributed to Strudwick being replaced. Ahead of today’s match against West Ham, Manchester United have nine injuries, and will be without all three of their first-choice central defenders.